Vietnam News

French, Japanese most popular foreign languages in school after English

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After English, the most popular foreign languages learned in Vietnam are French and Japanese, according to a report by the education ministry.

Reporting on education reform in the 2013-2023 period, the Ministry of Education and Training said foreign language studies have seen positive developments.

English education for kindergarteners has begun in 61 out of the country’s 63 provinces and cities.

Besides English, 41 localities are also teaching students other foreign languages, with 60,000 of them opting for them. The most popular is French, which is studied by 30,800 students, followed by Japanese and Chinese.

They are taught at primary, middle and high school levels, while German, Korean and Russian are not taught in primary school.

Since 2018 studying foreign languages has been compulsory from third to 12th grades.

One is designated as a “primary” language, and learning it is compulsory. An optional second foreign language, designated as a “secondary” language, is also offered.

Most schools choose English as the “primary” language, though in some places on the northern border, they choose Chinese instead.

French, Japanese and Korean are mainly taught in major cities.

Nguyen Thi Nhung, vice principal of the M.V. Lomonosov Middle and High School in Hanoi, said most foreign languages other than English are regarded as “secondary,” meaning they are optional.

In her school, German, Japanese and Korean are taught besides English, she said.

“We want students to have the opportunity to know more foreign languages so they can gain access to the knowledge of the world more easily, becoming global citizens who can work in many fields.”

By Duong Tam – – December 18, 2023

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